Well, at least no one said there was a 95-percent chance that the Browns would hire Chip Kelly.
At a time when every report and indication (few if any of which likely were originating with the Browns) suggested that the man whose Oregon teams wore all sorts of colorful uniform combinations would now be presiding over a franchise sporting a narrow ensemble of brown and orange, the Eagles swooped in and met with Kelly for most of Saturday in Arizona. According to CSNPhilly.com, the session lasted until 9:30 p.m. local time.
The meeting finally ended, and with the Bills hiring Doug Marrone it seems that there are only two suitors for Kelly: the Browns and the Eagles.
It’s unclear whether Kelly’s agent, David Dunn, has managed to set up a tug-o-war between the boyhood friends who are pursuing the same coach. Browns CEO Joe Banner and Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie grew up together and then worked as colleagues for a generation in Philly.
As we pointed out last night on Twitter (Rick Reilly may have been first, though), a sense was percolating through league circles that Dunn had done with Kelly what agent Bob LaMonte had done with Andy Reid, feeding to a willing and aggressive media member or two the idea that Kelly was close to a deal with the Browns in order to increase the sense of urgency for any other interested teams.
The Browns, if they truly want Kelly, erred by letting him meet with other teams. The Eagles may have done the same by not closing the deal on Saturday night.
Then again, it could be that Dunn and Kelly are holding out in the hopes that one or both teams will pay too much money both to get Kelly and, perhaps as importantly, to keep the other franchise from landing him.